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Episode Summary

Cody and Isaac sit down to field community-submitted questions on CODO’s 2023 Beer Branding Trends review.

Episode Notes

Points of discussion:

Read the 2023 Beer Branding Trends Review


Q1: I asked this last year and am curious again, were there any sections / ideas that didn’t make it into the final draft? Thanks again for putting this all together. Love these reports.

– Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck founded Casamigos Tequila

Fingers Newsletter


Q2: On the idea of releasing a budget beer option… Let’s say that, hypothetically, you could get the COGS to a place where this was actually a feasible option. Would you still advise against this from a branding and reputation standpoint?

I’m picturing a compelling use case for something like this where someone might enjoy 1 or 2 great craft beers and then finish the night with a High Life or Banquet, etc. Could this be an opportunity to still offer a craft beer to those consumers?

– On the perils of releasing budget beer brand


Q3: Is hop water design really a blank canvas? Are there cues that consumers are already expecting? What should people be doing to fit it neatly outside of NA / Seltzer / Sparkling Water?

Is Hop Water the next big Beyond Beer trend?


Q4: I looked up hop waters after reading this newsletter last year, and was blown away by how expensive they are. The few brands that I found locally are as expensive if not more so than actual beer. How do you think these brands can justify such a high price point at retail, and do you still think that this category is going to see a lot of growth in the short term given how expensive these products are?

Doug Veliky’s COGS breakdown on Hop Water vs. Beer


Q5: You joked about hand waving and pearl clutching in the podcast about alcohol & minors, but do you really think anything is going to happen legislatively on this front?

I see so many actual problems facing our country (income inequality, gun violence, attacks on women’s rights and on LGBTQ communities) and just can’t see lawmakers doing anything to even attempt to address this issue.

I agree that it’s getting kind of ridiculous—Hard Sunny D, c’mon!— I just don’t think anything will come of this. That’s not to mention how powerful the alcohol lobby is.

Joe Camel vs. JAMA


Q6: I know you explicitly said you’re only focusing on branding and marketing for this piece, but I have to ask about specific beverage trends in your work, COLD IPA is big (maybe?), RTDs are on fire, and Non Alc beer seems to be catching on… Are there any other categories or beer styles that people are sleeping on?

Q7: My partner sent me your paths to market email. It was reassuring to see that we’re doing at least a few things right. I’m curious, out of everything you wrote about there, is there any valuable marketing activity a new brewery should consider as they get closer to opening their doors?




Q8: What is your boldest prediction for the beer industry by 2030? Spicy takes only?

Q9: You’ve written a lot about Hop Water, but no love for Hard Tea?

Q10: Where do you guys fall on Fat Tire’s latest rebrand? Good idea or complete disaster? I get why they would update the packaging, but to change the liquid itself seems extremely risky. I’ve been expecting a newsletter on this topic for months now!

Q11: What do you make of the super high ABV beer trend we’re seeing right now? I’ve seen a lot of reporting about how this can be explained as a “Bang for your Buck,” in other words, this is driven primarily by the recession. But I’m not sure it’s that simple. Why is this such a big deal right now?

Q12: Given everything you wrote about hard seltzer in this report, would you try to dissuade a small brewery (say, yours truly here in Texas hill country), from releasing one in 2023?

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